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Healthier Christmas Cookies

Posted by on Dec. 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 30 Replies

Most of the year, I'm not too much of a baker. I'll mix up some muffins or make cookies with my kids, but in general I spend my energy on the main part of a meal. At Christmas, though, I am all about the cookies. I love the delicate, buttery, fancy ones made by experienced cooks and the brightly-colored, sprinkles-heavy treats made by little hands equally. And those calories add up....most Christmas cookie recipes are not shy with the butter and sugar, to say the least. And I try not to think too much about exactly what is in those vivid decorations.

Taking a spin through the Internet, I found out that there are healthier cookies out there, and they tend to be pretty easy too. Think meringues, for example: They use just egg whites and sugar, and take on a variety of flavors and even colors for a festive appearance and light, crisp texture.

Fruit figures prominently in a lot of better-for-you cookies as well, as do healthier ingredients like oats and dark chocolate. More strongly flavored ingredients mean you get a lot more flavor for the calories you're spending.

Finally, size matters. A lot of healthier cookie recipes are for little bites, not plate-sized behemoths.

Some good collections of healthier cookies are on Delish and Eating Well. The Eating Well piece is especially interesting because it shows you how to make naturally decorated cookies...no more scary neon sprinkles!

What are your favorite kind of Christmas cookies? And how do you make them healthier?


Image ©IStockPhoto/RuthBlack

by on Dec. 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Dec. 13, 2013 at 7:15 AM

my favorite Christmas cookies are Italian anise cookies and rugelach cookies.  I don't worry about making them healthier because: 1. I'm not going to mess with a good recipe,  2. they don't use a lot of sugar anyway, and 3.  fat is what makes the flavor...as I said, why mess with a good thing?  I don't eat many of them anyway.

dusky_rose
by Bronze Member on Dec. 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM

I make cookies throughout the year and I have been experimenting with making them healthier. I use semi sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate. I like to use canola oil instead of butter. They say it can't be done in my cookbook, but I'm proved it otherwise, I just use 1/3 cup oil when the recipe calls for 1/2 butter. I don't add salt to my cookies and I have been known to substitute honey and stevia for part of the sugar. If the recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugars, I add equivalent to 1/4 cup stevia (6 packets), 1/4 white sugar and 1/4 cup honey (the honey makes the cookies moist and chewy). Sometimes I replace half of the white flour with oat flour and/or wheat flour. I don't replace more than half because it affects the quality of the cookies. I try to use natural peanut butter when making peanut butter cookies. I haven't tried these on my holiday cookie recipes yet, but there is always this year. I'm not sure if I can replace the butter in my shortbread cookies though, since the butter is a predominate flavor, so use you common sense if you try any of these ideas.


sanj1213
by Juanita on Dec. 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

My favorite is shortbread and sugar cookies. I don't normally make them healthier. 

Madelaine
by Bronze Member on Dec. 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Thanks

sukainah
by on Dec. 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Hmmm, we don't bake a lot of Christmas cookies, but we make gingerbread men.  I don't know how to make them healthier.  Use fruit as a decoration?

slw123
by Member on Dec. 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM
1 mom liked this

I haven't found a healthier cookie that tastes worthwhile.

Kmakksmom
by on Dec. 13, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Cookies are one of those things that we don't make healthier.

Lauren486
by Lauren on Dec. 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I love baking cookies but usually only make them if I have somewhere to take them.  I don't typically make them healthy but will sometimes use less butter or sugar than called for. 

arpazia
by Bronze Member on Dec. 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I love those soft sugar cookies with the frosting!

 

johnny4ever
by Tracy on Dec. 13, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I love cute cut outs!

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